Mickelson's Open ends with a whimper

SOUTHPORT, England — Phil Mickelson arrived in Britain two weeks ago looking for redemption — or revenge — for the summer of 2007. A year ago he lost a playoff in the Scottish Open at Loch Lomond and, five days later, missed the cut in the Open Championship at Carnoustie.
His 2008 British sojourn has not treated him with any more kindness.
After finishing tied for 38th at the Scottish Open last weekend, Mickelson's British Open ended Sunday before the leaders had even made it to the practice putting green. He finished with a steady round of 71, which left him in an early tie for 30th place at 14 over, a dozen strokes behind the overnight leader Greg Norman. He moved up as others faltered and was tied for 19th by the end of the day.
"I've had an enjoyable couple of weeks," Mickelson said. "I didn't play to the level I would've liked. I thought I hit a lot of good shots, but I really struggled on the greens."
The greens weren't Mickelson's only issue this week. The world number two admitted that he fought vainly against the tough weather conditions that battered Royal Birkdale. "Day in and day out it's as challenging a wind as I've played in for four days," he said. "The positive that I can take is that I probably hit it better in the wind than I ever have. I didn't capitalize on some of the shots that I hit."
This was Mickelson's 16th appearance in the British Open. He has finished in the top ten only once, placing third at Royal Troon in 2004.
Before leaving Birkdale, Mickelson said that he'll next play at the World Golf Championship event in Akron, Ohio, before going on to the PGA Championship at Oakland Hills in mid-August.

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by Kevin Cunningham